By: Todd Clark, President/CEO, CO-OP Financial Services
At the beginning of 2017, we set a goal to deliver more seamless, more secure payment experiences to more credit union members. That theme took on even deeper meaning as we began to apply that same promise to the ways our credit union clients could expect to interact with CO-OP.
Digital transformation became the foundation for delivering on these promises fully and quickly. As more challengers entered the marketplace with agile, digital-centric, customer-focused models, it became clear the time for credit unions to transform was now.
We committed to moving fast, but we also recognized such a meaningful and all-encompassing transformation would be a journey – one we would travel right alongside our clients.
We assured you we would move swiftly to bring new solutions that would help the movement compete in an increasingly competitive environment. The journey is far from over, yet together we’ve accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time.
A key achievement, of course, was the acquisition of our long-time strategic partner TMG in April. By coming together as one, the best and brightest within both organizations built a comprehensive, single client experience to serve you without friction. Although we continue to polish the integration of our systems, it is now more possible than ever for credit unions in the CO-OP ecosystem to seamlessly manage operations, access a wealth of data and adapt to the changing market more efficiently.
The early achievements of what we’ve called “the new CO-OP” have been truly transformative. As we’ve taken the first steps of this journey, our teams have been focused on four critical objectives:
- Integration. With the strength of the Springboard platform, we are bringing credit, debit, ATM and shared branching together to give you a single view of the member experience. Our shared branch switch migration, carried out in October, is helping to set the tone for this effort. This migration is especially important as more credit union members take advantage of CO-OP Shared Branching, which became the second largest branch network in the U.S. in 2017.
- Experience. We are establishing a single client sign-on as a part of our goal to aggregate all of CO-OP’s offerings across a unified integrated services and systems experience. We expect the new MyCO-OP portal to launch in the first quarter, along with the roll out of several new business practices in 2018 to ensure the tools you rely on for an exceptional payments experience are as secure as they are nimble.
- Innovation. Several groundbreaking projects began in 2017. We launched a new mobile locator app and mobile banking 3.0, each designed with the digital member in mind. We became one of the first to support wearable payments solutions by Garmin and Fitbit. We launched development of machine learning and artificial intelligence into our fraud-fighting and business intelligence efforts. We’ve become proficient with APIs that enable things like greater access to data. And, we’re working closely with several big-brand partners to bring frictionless P2P payments to virtually every accountholder in the nation.
- Transformation. We’ve thoughtfully changed our leadership structure to reflect our emphasis on digital growth, transformation and cybersecurity. In our journey as a digitally-driven organization, we have made enhancements to everything from technology to culture. Notably, we became a company-wide team of 1,500 change agents ready to serve credit unions in new and exciting ways that will have a dramatic impact on the way you, in turn, serve your members.
Our overarching goal this year has been to create an organization that equips us all for the digital age, and I believe we have established a strong start. We are well on our way to co-creating the future of payments with more of our client credit unions.
Even as the world becomes more digital, nothing quite delivers the same outcomes as face-to-face engagement with you. In 2018, we hope you’ll navigate your way to a CO-OP Roadshow near you, GAC in our nation’s capital or THINK 18 in Chandler, Arizona. As the ultimate experts on the credit union member, there is no one better equipped to validate and challenge CO-OP strategies than you. We can’t wait to create together. Here’s to an outstanding 2018!